Best Samsung T5 SSD Alternative For BMPCC 4k & 6k

Best Samsung T5 SSD Alternative For BMPCC 4k & 6k

Welcome to Filmmaking Elements, today we’re going to be talking about the best Samsung T5 SSD alternative for your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k, 6k, or 6K Pro. 

 So when we’re talking about the BMPCC lineup, it’s a topic that I see come up a lot. I would say that there are two main options when you’re looking at SSDs for your Blackmagic camera, whether it be a Pro or even the Ursa. 

Best Samsung T5 SSD Alternative For BMPCC 4k and 6k

To make it very short. The best Samsung T5 SSD alternative for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD. Now, I’d say your two options are Samsung and SanDisk. Of course, there will be other SSD manufacturers, but these are the two main ones that I’ve witnessed people use the most, and I chose SanDisk for a few reasons.

Best Samsung T5 SSD Alternative For BMPCC 4k & 6k
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable external SSD drive, connects with USB-C. – (c) 2018 Tony Webster

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD Is Cheaper!

SanDisk was cheaper per gigabyte or per terabyte, whatever you want to compute it at when I first looked for SSD costs (may vary in what country you live in).

So I went with the SanDisk SSD and I started buying SanDisk E60. I now have a bunch of them in my studio. All of them are 1TB, and then I have a few 2TB ones also, and they look the same. 

Build Quality of Sandisk SSD

I chose SanDisk because of the price, but when I received it, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the construction and the way it felt. The SSD is rubber cased.

I previously leased a Blackmagic Ursa Mini for a project, and the rental business offered us some Samsung T5 SSDs for recording, which had a metal body, and because the SSD holder is also made of metal, you get that metal on metal feeling, which I dislike.

Best Samsung T5 SSD Alternative For BMPCC 4k & 6k

 So Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD is all rubber coated and these are IP55 rated, and have shock resistance as well. They can also withstand drops up from 2 meters and I have dropped mines a couple of times. I’ve never had a problem with my drives. 

The majority of people choose the Samsung T5 for their Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera since most of the SSD holders you see on Amazon are combined or suggested with a Samsung SSD. No doubt Samsung is better at marketing as well.

So I think people are being pushed into Samsung because they believe, “Oh, this is the Samsung SSD holder, and this might be the only one compatible with my BMPCC.” Making the purchase considerably easier.

Allow me to admit that it took me a few searches to locate a more universal SSD holder that could accommodate my Sandisk SSD on the BMPCC 6k as well as other manufacturers. The Samsung T5 is also compatible with my universal holder.

Performance of Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD!

I’ve had no problems recording anything with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6k using Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD as an alternative to Samsung T5. But, If it’s 50 frames per second at a constant bit rate, 3:1 or 5:1, it won’t get past a few seconds.

The Sandisk E60s have a problem only when you start using the higher quality options. Now, E60s are not the only model number from the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD lineup. Sandisk also has E61, E80 and E81. All of them are compatible with the BMPCC. They all have different read/write speeds and body dimensions.

Best Samsung T5 SSD Alternative For BMPCC 4k & 6k
SanDisk Extreme PRO® Portable SSD E81

I also have a Sandisk Extreme Portable E81 SSD as an alternative to the Samsung T5 for my BMPCC 6k. Sandisk E81 SSD has speeds up to 2000MB/s in comparison to 550MB/s of Sandisk E60. It has no problems recording at any given setting. 

Sandisk Extreme Portable E60 1TB SSD Maximum Recording Lenght On BMPCC 4k & 6K

If your business necessitates the most out of your camera and you value speed, you’ll want to invest in one of the more expensive, quicker drives. However, I just use E60 for the majority of my work, and I have several 1TB and 2TB drives of the same model.

On an empty 1TB Sandisk S60 SSD, I can record up to 258 minutes at 12:1 compression, constant bit rate on my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, which is around 4.3 hours.

So, if you go down to that level of compression, you can fit a lot of data on one disk. This changes as the compression quality are increased or decreased.

I am also sharing a chart of what the drive said it would record at 6K at the different compression rates on my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. I hope that information is useful to you as well. If you use the 4K, you’re going to get way more minutes. 

My Workflow of Using SSDs with my BMPCC

One of the advantages is that I edit using either of these two drives right from the camera. You can take this straight from the camera, plug it into your Mac or PC, and start editing right away, making it ideal for projects and other similar purposes.

 Sometimes projects get big and you need a bit more space and you might tend to use multiple of these. Especially in the case of multiple camera setups, the best practice is to color-code them to dodge any complications at the end or middle of the shoot. 

That’s about all I have to say about the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSDs. I had no issues with them. They are quite appealing to me. They’re tough, they’re comfortable, and they record at all of the speeds I need to record at. If not, I can simply upgrade to one of the more expensive models.

They are not just a good alternative SSD for my BMPCC 6k but better!

How does Sandisk Extreme Portable compare to Samsung T5 for your BMPCC?

What about the Samsung T5? I used to have a Samsung T5 that I used for filming and editing with my Blackmagic cameras. The reason I liked these so much is that I got into it when I first bought my Blackmagic camera because of the pricing, the brand name, and some of the capabilities it had to offer.

Samsung T5 can be a great choice for people who are traveling a lot with a BMPCC camera because of its metallic construction.

 So if you drop it or it gets tossed around in a bag or the flight, it has a decent enough construction to be able to withstand a lot of it. 

In terms of performance, it can take almost everything. You do have some problems at higher-level speeds and settings on your BMPCC 6k with these cards. 

If you’re filming with an Ursa G2 or a BMPCC 6k Pro it can’t handle that much information. The price isn’t terrible, and it’s a little bit more expensive than some other competitors, but I’ve never had a drive fail on me. I’ve had them from like three years ago.

They’re a little bit older, and the only problem I could foresee in the future with these is that the T7 cards don’t work with BMPCC, and these are starting to not be produced as much anymore. At some point, you might have to look for a different solution.

Conclusion

I believe that whichever one you choose, SanDisk or Samsung, you will be perfectly fine. There aren’t that many differences between the two SSDs, in my opinion. Regardless of which option you choose, your Blackmagic cameras will provide excellent footage.

While there are minor variances in the type of hardware required to attach it to your cage or rig, I don’t believe there is much of a difference between them. So I’d just go with whichever is the cheapest and most readily available in your local region.